Minority children are projected to comprise a majority of the K-12 population within this decade, and minority workers projected to provide all of the net increase in the workforce through 2030. As a result, many agree that increasing the skills and educational attainment of young, non-white people looms as one of the most pressing challenges to American competitiveness. In an era of slow economic growth and tight public budgets, there remains considerable disagreement about not only the kind of intervention, but also the timing of intervention most likely to produce success. In other words, with limited dollars to spend, what is the point in the lifecycle of students and young workers where we can invest in them for the greatest return?
On April 8th, National Journal convened the third event in the Next America series. The event brought together government officials, educators, workforce experts and analysts. We explored the debate among experts and practitioners about the moments when intervention can have the greatest effect, and also profiled individual programs stepping into that breach. The event also gave us an occasion to share the top findings about attitudes among minorities and whites alike on the ingredients for success in contemporary America from our College Board/National Journal Next America Poll.